Policy Statements

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Table of Contents
Policy on “No Show” Presenters
Core Values of the Acoustical Society of America
ASA statement on Ukraine
Acoustic Hailing Devices
ASA Meetings Harassment
U.S. Ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Wind Turbines
Classroom Acoustics
Noise in Wildernes

8 September 2022
Policy on “No Show” Presenters

Periodically, presenters will submit abstracts which get scheduled in sessions during TPOM, but do not show up to deliver the proposed presentation. Professional etiquette dictates that, if unforeseen events prevent the speaker from delivering the presentation, they contact the session chair to alert them of the situation with as much time as possible so they may alert the audience the talk has been withdrawn.  It is a reasonable assumption that this will be exceedingly rare for a given presenter acting in good faith. This policy applies to those who regularly submit abstracts and do not show up to the deliver the presentations.

It is an abuse of time and resources to plan for presentations which are not delivered and disrespectful to the session attendees and chair.  Abstracts are published in the proceedings and appear as though they have been delivered.  As such, they provide value to promotion and tenure applications within the home institution.  ASA views this as a bad faith practice.

If a speaker submits an abstract and does not deliver the presentation twice within a given year (over two meetings), they will be warned by the TC Chair and Vice President that this is unacceptable behavior and will request an explanation.  They will also be informed of the ASA policy on such matters.  If the explanation is not deemed valid by the Chair and VP and a third instance occurs within the following two meetings, the speaker will be informed that they are banned from submitting abstracts for a period of two years (next four meetings).  Any abstracts submitted will be rejected without review.  Following this period, the speaker may request the privilege of submitting abstracts in a written statement to the TC Chair and Vice President in which the speaker provides assurances that they understand and will comply with the policy. ASA staff will keep an active and historical record of probationary and banned speakers. Any paper not presented at the meeting is ineligible for publication in POMA

The following positions have been adopted by the ASA Panel on Public Policy and endorsed by the Executive Council:

20 July 2021
Core Values of the Acoustical Society of America

Sound is a ubiquitous phenomenon that permeates the natural and anthropogenic worlds. Thus, the core values that drive the actions, policies, and objectives of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), include:

  1. Dedication to excellence as a premier global organization that serves the world-wide acoustics community with integrity and transparency;
  2. Broad, open, honest, respectful, and accessible inquiry into the science and practical applications of acoustics, through thoughtful and tolerant oral and written discourse;
  3. A welcoming atmosphere of openness and inclusion for all members, potential members, authors, meeting attendees, those who interact with the ASA, and those who have an interest in acoustics, regardless of status or capability;
  4. Advocacy for wide dissemination of acoustical knowledge at the local, state, national, and international levels to generate, promote, and advance the science and applications of acoustics;
  5. Provision of information and policy reviews to inform societal decision-making on how acoustics, acoustical principles, and standards can be used to sustainably improve the human condition, and preserve and restore acoustical environments;
  6. Service to current and future generations through the promotion, publication, and archival documentation of the science and applications of acoustics supported by a fair, deliberative, and rigorous review process; and
  7. Attraction, development, encouragement, education, and mentoring of current and future generations of acousticians from diverse backgrounds.

24 March 2022
ASA statement on Ukraine

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) condemns, in the strongest of terms, the unprovoked and unconscionable invasion of Ukraine. The society stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian scientific community, engineers and health care providers, and the Ukrainian people in their struggle to overcome the carnage of war in their homeland. The ASA joins the global community collectively demanding the restoration of human rights to the Ukrainian citizenry, articulated with clarity in the International Bill of Human Rights. We furthermore call upon the Russian state to remove the oppressive infringement of the right to travel and freely exchange information so brutally imposed on scientists, engineers, and academics of all disciplines, without the threat of retaliation. We extend the hand of gratitude to our Russian colleagues who, at the risk of severe retribution, stand courageously with the world community in condemnation of the ruthless actions of the state. Above all else, the ASA joins with individuals and groups the world over in the call for peace and the immediate cessation of Russian hostilities.

10 July 2020
Acoustic Hailing Devices

Acoustic hailing devices (AHDs), including Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), were developed originally as military communication systems and are designed to project an intense, focused beam of acoustic energy over long ranges. As such, they are capable of delivering dangerously high sound levels (both verbal and siren-like signals) when employed at shorter ranges. In recent years, AHDs are used increasingly by law enforcement and related agencies to communicate with civilian populations at short ranges, for example, “crowd control” scenarios.

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) recognizes potential risks to human health caused by AHDs, including permanent hearing loss and strongly urges:

  • Law enforcement agencies and organizations using or proposing to use AHDs for crowd control purposes to develop and adhere to strict safety guidelines on their use; these guidelines must prominently include limits on the level and duration of exposure to potentially traumatizing sounds consistent with established safety guidelines (e.g., NIH, CDC)
  • The establishment of rigorous training procedures for device operators
  • Funding of scientific research aimed at (a) assessing the level of risk associated with exposure to AHD signals, especially for vulnerable individuals, and (b) assessing levels within sound fields produced by AHDs in potentially untested settings such as highly reverberant urban environments

To ensure safe use of AHDs, the ASA further encourages the development of evidence-based policies on AHD usage by law enforcement and related agencies to protect targeted individuals, bystanders, and personnel from AHD-induced trauma, in addition to the implementation of procedures for monitoring and reporting AHD usage, and the establishment of public oversight, transparency and accountability mechanisms.

Recognizing the need to employ emerging technologies responsibly, the ASA recommends suspension of AHD use by law enforcement agencies for crowd-control purposes pending installation of safeguards to ensure the safety of the public.

May 2018
ASA Meetings Harassment

It is the policy of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) that all participants in Society activities will enjoy an environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. As a professional society, ASA is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. In pursuit of that ideal,

ASA is dedicated to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all members regardless of any other reason not related to scientific merit. Harassment, sexual or otherwise, is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of Society meetings. Violators of this policy will be subject to discipline.

Link to the full Meetings Harassment Policy.

February 2015
U.S. Ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is an international scientific society with a membership of approximately 7,000 that spans a wide range of academic disciplines and industries centered on acoustics. Consistent with its overall mission, the ASA advocates the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and education programs in an effort to strengthen the international STEM workforce. Barriers to the achievement of this goal are numerous and prominently include a wide range of communication disorders that can compromise education in STEM areas and limit participation of disabled individuals in the science and technology labor force, as well as society at large.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a convention adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December of 2006, forms a foundation upon which sovereign nations may independently implement programs that safeguard the rights of disabled persons to enjoy equal access to medicine, education and modern communication technologies, as well as fairness in the workplace.

It is in that light that the ASA fully endorses the international effort to enhance access of disabled persons to STEM education and promotes active participation of communication disabled persons in the global science and technology enterprise, and recommends U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities subject to the understanding that the Convention has no effect on U.S. sovereignty or the rights of its citizenry.

May 2014
Wind Turbines

Acoustic emissions of wind turbines include airborne, underwater, infrasonic, and structure borne sounds, and have been reported by individuals living near these facilities. Wind turbine acoustic emissions and their potential effects should be investigated and fully addressed in an interdisciplinary manner. The Acoustical Society of America urges that guidelines for relating wind turbine sound descriptors to probabilities of adverse effects be developed, to aid in wise wind energy planning. Methods for measuring and quantifying wind turbine acoustic emissions, particularly at very low frequencies, should be developed that support the interdisciplinary findings.

June 2013

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is committed to making acoustics more accessible to everyone, and asserts that all individuals, regardless of racial identity, ethnic background, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or national origin, must be provided equal opportunity in the field of acoustics. The Society upholds the belief that diversity enriches the field of acoustics, and is working to diversify its membership and the acoustics community in general by identifying barriers to implementing this change, and is taking an active role in organizational and institutional efforts to bring about such change. The Society actively supports efforts by the acoustics community to better engage the knowledge and talents of a diverse population, increase the viability of acoustics as a career option for all individuals, and promote the pursuit of acoustics careers by members of historically under-represented groups.

December 2013
Classroom Acoustics

The ASA affirms that classrooms shall meet the noise and reverberation levels specified in ANSI Standard S12.60. Further, provided that sound field amplification systems are used in conjunction with ANSI S12.60, the ASA recognizes their usefulness for core classrooms to augment teachers' voices as multimedia sound distribution systems. In case of moderate activity noise, the sound field amplification system can be employed to augment the teacher's voice, especially for a quiet topic. Amplification systems should not be used in attempt to substitute for good acoustics. To ensure their success, the ASA advocates that classroom noise levels and reverberation times be documented prior to installing sound field amplification systems. Acoustical consultants or credentialed school audiologists properly trained and equipped may screen and document classrooms for sound field systems.

May 2009
Noise in Wilderness

The Acoustical Society of America advocates the restoration of the natural soundscape in federally protected areas.

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